The White House and public health officials urged people across the country to stay home as much as possible this Spring to prevent the spread of COVID-19. What followed was most governors directing residents to remain at home and all nonessential businesses to close. Now that some states are exploring the idea of reopening, it’s important to understand the proper journey back to business and the office and what it means for you:
Phased-Approach to Opening Up
Fortunately, businesses are slowly allowed to reopen but in adherence to strict guidelines before a full return to normal business operations. Nationwide, the CDC and OSHA provide guidance and regulations for COVID-19 in the workplace.
The White House proposes a 3-phase approach to the reopening of commercial spaces. The guidelines specify what facilities should open at what stage and include instructions for business operators and employers for the use and disinfection of common areas in facilities.
State Health Departments are also issuing guidance for the reopening and return to operation for businesses and facilities. In Minnesota, for example, companies are required to do the following before reopening their doors to the public:
- Have a COVID19 Preparedness Plan that includes worker hygiene, facility cleaning and disinfection procedures and social distancing
- Screen all employees and ensure sick individuals stay home
- Have some of the jobs done from home when applicable
Illinois has embarked on a 5-phase reopening strategy that has also seen some businesses re-designated as essential for reopening, including pet groomers, garden centers and nurseries. Nonessential retail stores reopen for taking internet and phone orders while providing out-of-store pickup and delivery.
Overall, most State Health Departments have released strict cleaning requirements that require:
- Routine cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas per CDC guidelines
- Maintain pre-existing cleaning protocols
Deep Cleaning COVID-19
Coronavirus has fast gained a notorious reputation as an insidious virus. It is capable of surviving on diverse surfaces for up to 17 days, and infected individuals may not show symptoms until about two weeks after infection. Both factors make tracking and containing the virus difficult.
Therefore, you need a trusted company capable of offering disease and biohazard remediation on your side.
The company you hire should adhere to OSHA regulations, have an Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC) and strictly follow the latest procedures for disease cleanup and disinfection.
Benefits of Regular Deep Cleaning
COVID-19 is still a novel virus, which is why the cleaning service provider should continuously consult the CDC for up-to-date cleaning solutions and utilize EPA-registered and CDC-approved disinfectants. Some high-touch areas around the office that can benefit from deep cleaning include:
- Keyboards, computers and phones
- Pen cups, tape dispensers, staplers and other desk accessories
- Digital touchscreens
- Coat hangers and racks
- Elevator buttons
- Appliances, fixtures and furniture in the kitchen and break rooms
- Technology controls, monitors and whiteboard accessories in conference rooms
- Mail and resource room postage meters, packaging and mail tools, and rolling package carts, trolleys and bins
Professional cleaning can reach all corners of your facility through:
- Fogging using a fine spray that delivers disinfectant
- Surface wiping using an industrial-grade disinfectant
- Wet spraying surfaces
Not using your staff or employees to clean and disinfect the business premises ensures that they are safe and out of harm’s way. Professional crews are trained to wear and use:
- Head protection gear
- N95 respirators
- Tyvek suits
- Boot protection
The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ensures that service providers minimize the risk to themselves.
Even as businesses get back to work, keeping the workplace safe and free from infection is a primary concern. This is true to prevent illness and to preserve peace of mind for all your occupants, so they know that steps are being taken to ensure their safety.